GM seeks to avoid Takata recalls for fourth straight year

Takata steering wheel and airbag.{ } (Alexauto321 / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN)

General Motors is trying to avoid recalling potentially deadly Takata air bag inflators in thousands of full-size pickup trucks and SUVs for the fourth straight year, leaving owners to wonder if vehicles are safe to drive.

The automaker petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to exempt it from recalls that were required under a 2015 agreement between Takata and the government.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel.

Twenty-four people have been killed by the inflators worldwide.

GM's petition asking to escape the recalls was posted Wednesday in the Federal Register. It says the inflators are unique to GM and are safe.